Senior BJP leader Piyush Goyal Friday said there is no need to scrap NEET for medical admissions and his party would convince its ally, AIADMK, which has sought temporary exemption for Tamil Nadu students from the test. “I do not think NEET should be scrapped. We will talk to AIADMK and convince them,” he told reporters here. He was responding to a query on AIADMK manifesto pitching for temporary exemption for Tamil Nadu students from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
Pointing out that AIADMK had requested that NEET should be held in Tamil language, he said it was accepted by the Centre and being implemented. Flaying Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his party’s promise to replace NEET, he alleged the party wanted to re-introduce the old system, under which managements of medical colleges can demand capitation fee and offer seats to the rich.
“.. the people of Tamil Nadu want medical seats to be offered on the basis of merit.. poor children should also get an opportunity to pursue medical education,” Goyal said. Alleging that Congress wanted to remove NEET so that the poor do not take up medical education, he said, “They are working for capitalists.. so that the rich get admission…” NEET is one of the key poll issues in Tamil Nadu, where major political parties have opposed the test on the ground that it was “discriminatory” against rural students.
The ruling AIADMK in its manifesto has promised to get exemption for the state students from NEET till such time they were able to cope up with the improved new syllabus. The DMK in its manifesto has said the national entrance test would be scrapped if its alliance came to power. In 2017, a 17-year-old Dalit girl of Ariyalur district, S Anitha, who scored 1176 marks out of 1200 in her Class XII exam committed suicide as she could not get a good NEET score. Her death triggered state-wide outrage with all political parties and students coming together against the entrance exam.
After its legal efforts and legislative measures to avoid NEET failed, the AIADMK government had set up coaching centres to train students for the test.